KAMAL RAJ SIGDEL
TKP, MAR 24
The void resulting from Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala’s death has been felt most keenly at the High-Level Political Mechanism (HLPM), which Koirala coordinated.
Crisis now looms large at the mechanism—whose sole objective was to forge political consensus—with each of the top three parties claiming leadership of the body. Though two of the constituents,
While the UCPN (Maoist) has claimed it should lead the Mechanism on the ground that it is the largest party in the Constituent Assembly, the NC says it should naturally inherit the position its president held. The UML, on the other hand, has also claimed the post,
stressing the need to select a consensual leader.
At an NC discussion on Wednesday, leaders concluded that the party should stand firm on its “right” to lead the mechanism. “We’ve concluded that as a party that led the peace process, the Congress should continue to coordinate the mechanism, which was formed on the initiative of our president,” said NC spokesman Arjun Narsingh K.C.
While K.C. advocated Acting President Sushil Koirala’s representation of NC, sources close to NC leader Sher Bahadur Deuba said the latter would not let that happen ‘at any cost’. Sushil, on the other hand, said all three—himself, Deuba and Ram Chandra Poudel—would represent the party.
Though all three parties have started internal discussions, they are yet to come together to take a call on the issue.
UCPN (Maoist) made it clear it had accepted Koirala’s leadership not as NC president but as a “trusted and towering” personality in Nepali politics. “We will obviously claim our turn to lead,” said Maoist Vice Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha. “However, this matter has to be discussed within the mechanism.”
UML too is divided. While the party’s Standing Committee meeting decided to sort out the issue through consensus, UML leader Pradip Gyawali floated the proposal of a rotating HLPM leadership at a programme on Wednesday.
(Read original: http://www.ekantipur.com/the-kathmandu-post/2010/03/24/most-popular/Who-will-carry-GPKs-mantle/6497/)